Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dishwasher Detergent

Here is another one of my "sick of spending so much money on soap?", "tired of loading the dishwasher after dinner and finding you are out of dishwasher soap, again?". Save money and grocery store trips and make your own. It's really easy and last's forever!

Here is what you need.
 Dishwasher Detergent ingredients:
1 box Borax (4lbs 12 oz or 76 oz ) (2.15 kg) found in the detergent isle
1 box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (55 oz or 3 lbs 7 oz) found in the detergent isle
24 packages of unsweetened lemonade drink mix, like kool-aid. (**Note: lemonade will stain soap dispenser yellow, another option would be to use citric acid instead of lemonade. You can usually find citric acid in the canning isle )
3 cups Epsom Salt
Lemi Shine rinse aid (this recipe does not work very well without it) You can find Lemi Shine in the dishwasher detergent isle at just about any store. You can also use vinegar as a rinse aid. If your dishes are coming out with spots on them that means you do need a rinse aid.







Use Lemi Shine as a rinse aid. It works wonders. Just sprinkle about a tablespoon in the bottom of your dishwasher before you start it. This stuff is awesome!!
If you want you could cut this recipe in half or even smaller to just try it out. You will still have to buy large boxes of Borax and Washing Soda which you can store for later use.
Mix Borax, washing soda, salt and lemonade together in a large, very large, bowl. When ingredients are mixed together well put soap in a container of your choice. I picked up a container at Walmart in the kitchen center with a pouring spout for $5.00 and it is big enough to hold an entire batch of dishwasher soap. The soap does get hard spots in it after a while so do be prepared for some hardening, I have not been able to get around that no matter what I do.

It even has a pouring spout to make things easy.

Use 1 tablespoon per wash cycle. It has no fillers so you do not have to use nearly as much to get the job done! This recipe is for hard water users, if you have soft water you may want to browse the internet for a better recipe for soft water.

Are you ready for the breakdown??
1 box of borax $4.69
1 box A & H washing soda $3.19
24 packages of lemonade $2.80
3 cups of salt $2.00, this one is a guess because I already had salt in my storage and who knows how much I payed for it.

Total= $12.68

1 tablespoon at a time........you tell me how long that's going to last.



To top off my project me and my Cricut got together :) and cut out letters from vinyl to label the container. Yes I know they are a little crooked but I am to cheap to buy transfer paper for all my vinyl needs, besides I am storing it in the cupboard under my sink. I tried my first load yesterday and was quiet impressed with how clean my dishes were. I hope it works well for you too!

245 comments:

  1. I know your sister, Becky, and she posted a link to your blog on facebook. This is so great! I'm going to have to try this and the laundry soap for sure!

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  2. Thanks for looking and commenting. I love, love, love the dishwasher and laundry soap, I hope you do too!

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  3. Great idea-thanks for saving me some mula :) Found you via pinterest. I'm too cheap for transfer paper too so I use masking tape.

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  4. I just made this but haven't used it yet. I'm looking forward to seeing the results. What size of box did you use? I had to use two large bowls just to mix it because there was that much which made me wonder if i used large boxes than you?

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  5. It makes a huge batch. Before warned that it is like brown sugar and does
    harden after awhile. My suggestion would be to store it in 2 separate containers since it is such a huge batch.

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  6. Awesome!! Thank You! I used it and it worked great. Thanks for sharing and getting back to me so quickly! :)

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  7. Could you use kool-aide for the drink mix?

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  8. What purpose does the Lemonade serve? It seems like the sugar would make things sticky? Is it just for the scent?

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  9. The lemonade would be for the citric acid. I am just curious about the size of the individual packets...

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  10. Kris & Shaper of Little Souls, here is the kool-aide scoop. It is added for the citric acid and does have a nice scent. It does not become a sticky mess in your dishwasher, kool-aide gets sticky when you add the sugar to the drink. So no problem there, however it does have food coloring in it which does not effect your dishes but does tend to stain your soap dispenser yellow. I purchased small packages of off brand kool-aide at the grocery store, you can use kool-aide brand if you want. It does not make a difference which brand you buy as long as you buy NO SUGAR added (aka the sticky mess). I choose the small packets because I could not find a large container that was a no sugar added. Another option is to just purchase citric acid instead of kool-aid drink mix. The perks of this is no messy yellow to deal with. I don't think you will really miss the lemon scent that much, it's not terribly strong in the first place. I am not sure if you can buy citric acid in the grocery store. I have purchased it at a baking store before, you may have to do a little research if that's the route you choose to go. I hope this is helpful, let me know if you have any other questions.

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    Replies
    1. citric acid is in the canning isle of the grocery store.

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    2. I'm wondering, if we go the citric acid route or decide to buy a large canister of kool-aid, how much would we use? I'm not good enough with measurements to know how much is in those little packets of powder!;) Thanks!:)

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    3. I'm wondering also, is the citric acid/lemonade mandatory? Whats the purpose other than the scent? I thought the lemi-shine was for the rinse aid part. (Lemi-shine also says it has "fruit acids and citrus oils" in it.)

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  11. I have seen citric acid in the canning section at the grocery store (usually at the end of the same aisle you find the storage containers and zipper baggies). The product comes in a jar that looks like a plastic spice jar. My Grandfather used it to keep fruit from browning in the dehydrator.

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  12. Thanks so much for this post! I am putting this idea up on my blog tomorrow (www.obsessedwithscrapbooking.com) and sending people over here for all the details such as recipe, etc.. I used a smaller container and a different font, but essentially it's the same. I love how my dishes came out with this and it is seriously less expensive! Thank you so much!

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  13. Too cheap for transfer paper - go to your local sign shop and ask to buy transfer paper from them. I bought a 6" wide roll that is HUGE for about $20. It has lasted a long, long, long time and truly makes using vinyl a pleasure. I also asked to buy vinyl scraps from them and I get quite a lot for about $5 a bundle -- much cheaper than the Cricut brand.

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  14. Kristen- Thank you so much for the tip, I am totally going to find the nearest sign shop and hit them up!!

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  15. I put a marshmallow in my brown sugar is there something you can put in this mix to keep it from getting hard?

    Although it seems like store-bought powder gets a little hard too or is that just me?!

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  16. Andi, I have no clue. My best advise is to store it in separate containers and make sure one is air tight to be stored for later.

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  17. Loveeeee Lemon Shine! I live in West Texas and our well water is hard, you can imagine how excited I was to find Lemon Shine. I look forward to trying this recipe out!!

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  18. Do you put the tablespoon in the open part of the dishwasher or the part with the little door that closes? Hope that makes sense... you know how you normally put dish soap in 2 little holes? Just curious to see if it mattered which hole you put the tablespoon in.

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  19. Sarah- I put the detergent in the dispenser but I don't close it. I don't think it really matters where you put it.

    Laura & Stathis Five- I would try to run the dishwasher with the dispenser open. With this detergent you really do need a rinse aid to help with the cloudiness. You can put vinegar in the rinse aid dispenser or I personally use Lemi Shine as my aid, that stuff works wonders. Just sprinkle a little in the bottom of your dishwasher before you run a load and that should do the trick. Good luck!!

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    1. The Lemi Shine is actually made of citric acid. I am going to try adding a container of it right in my mix and save myself a step.

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    2. Just wondering how this turned out!

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  20. I wonder if you could put a piece of terra cotta (like those made for brown sugar) or rice (maybe in a stocking) into the batch to prevent hardening...

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  21. I recently attended a tomato canning class and the lady said that you could find citric acid at the pharmacy at Wal-Mart. I haven't gone to look yet, but it's worth a shot. Hope this helps.

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  22. Risa West- I have been able to find washing soda just about everywhere here in Utah. Last time I purchased it at a super Walmart. Are you checking in the laundry detergent isle for it? Usually it's with the Borax. You may have to do a web search in your area for it. Now on to the citric acid, I found mine at a baking store. I have heard you can get it at some grocery stores too. You poor thing running around all over town to every grocery store. If you end up having no luck let me know and I can mail you a box of washing soda.

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  23. Helen Wright- it would probably work if you added the Lemi shine to the detergent as long as you mixed it thoroughly and evenly distributed it. For me this step is pretty important for my dishwasher so I add it separately.

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    1. I have been using Lemi Shine with each load and my dishes are still really cloudy. Any suggestions?

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  24. Aramelle- I believe you are supposed to fill your rinse aid dispenser full of vinegar. It is the small round lid on the inside of the dishwasher door. I am afraid that is all the knowledge I can offer, I have never personally used mine. Good luck!

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  25. Did we ever figure out how much citric acid to use? :) I'm getting ready to make my batches up tomorrow, and I think I need to pick more up- just need to know how much!

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  26. Nevermind... I believe it's rough 1/2 cup. :)

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  27. i forgot the epsom salt and only have lavender epsom salt at home. is that ok with the lemon? think itd be ok to try?

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  28. This looks like a good recipe. The other homemade ones I have tried haven't worked for me. I've never heard of the Lemi shine either. I'll have to find that.

    I bought a bunch of citric acid at 75% off at a store that was going out of business. I wondered why I did that and now I know. :) Is it 1/2 c citric acid in place of the 24 packages of lemonade mix?

    Thanks!

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  29. For those that were having problems with film, I add a couple of drops of vinegar where the rinse agent would go and that did the trick for me.

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  30. Great ideas on making your own soaps! I thought your recipes to be so helpful that I shared them on my blog as well! Thanks and keep posting!
    http://bonafideboho.blogspot.com

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  31. Christe- I don't know if you would want to use lavender on your dishes. Maybe try 1 load with it.

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  32. I'm excited to try the recipe, but I have a concern about the fact that it needs to be used in conjunction with Lemi Shine. Lemi Shine is about $4 here. There are about 24 tablespoons in that container. That's pretty pricey. Am I missing something, or is it just a lot cheaper somewhere else?

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  33. I read somewhere else using this same 'recipe' but substituting vinegar for the Lemi Shine. I'm hoping that works.

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  34. Dmhm08- Last night I put a hard piece of detergent in my dishwasher and it worked out just fine. So you could probably use an ice tray to make small blocks. Come to think of it maybe not becasue not all of the detergent hardened just some of it clumped up. You could always give it a try and see if it works. You would have to let it sit in an ice tray for a while until it does harden up. Good luck, if you do try it let me know how well it worked out. Thanks.

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  35. Brittini- It does clump up and my fellow bloggers and I have been trying to work this out. Maybe it is the citric acid/lemonade. It's a work in progress.

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  36. Losing Control and Liking It- Lemi Shine is my magic ingredient. I love the stuff. I don't use a full tablespoon per load, I only sprinkle maybe 1-2 teaspoons in the bottom of the dishwasher before I start my load. Lemi Shine is around $3 here. You could use vinegar as your rinsing aid instead, I have heard that it works well and it's a lot cheaper.

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  37. I just made your dishwasher detergent. I LOVE IT...and its cheap, and it makes a huge amount. My break down was

    Epsom salt $.88
    Arm and Hammer super wash $3.24
    24 lemonade packs $2.88 (12 cents each)
    lemi shine $3.77
    Borax $3.36
    grand total $14.13

    Can't beat that price when you wont have to buy dishwashing detergent for at LEAST 6 months.
    I also bought the stuff the make the laundry detergent. For all of the ingredients to make both was like $27. I am super excited! Thank you for this recipe!

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  38. I found an alternative to the lemonade packets that stain. Try finding {TRUE lemon} which is crystalized lemon (citric acid, lemon oil, etc) with no food dyes!

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    1. i've been searching for this - where did you find it??

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    2. i found a search feature on their website...i should have checked for it first - http://www.truelemon.com/store-locator.html?view=map&Itemid=143 :)

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    3. I found trulemon on the top shelf in the baking aisle in my grocery store.

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    4. My work provides us with true lemon for tea... I may stash some. :D

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  39. Lindsey- Try using a rinse aid for the film on your plastic dishes. I personally use Lemi Shine but you can also use vinegar. I am glad it's working out for you even though you got the sugar mix.

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  40. smaushak77- I don't personally have any liquid recipes. I just prefer powdered. I know that there are some people who have made homemade liquid recipes so I am sure they are out there.

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  41. ok, im sure youve answered this but im too busy and impatient to read all these comments... i know you said airtight container, which i used, but it hardened... any suggestions?

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  42. Christe, I have not found the perfect solution for hardening. It's been tricky. Sorry.

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    1. Put one of those silica gel packs (that come in bags, shoes, etc. when you purchase them) in your container to prevent clumping.

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    2. Silica is poisonous. I don't think I want it touching detergent that's washing my dishes.

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    3. how about the ones from your vitamins and over the counter medications?? those are for moisture and touch things we swallow...I'm sure that would be safe....most of the people who have made a similar detergent put the citric acid in separate and they don't get the clumping, but they use lemi shine for that since its made of citric acid....

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    4. Silica may be poisonous, but then, so is the borax. Pretty much all soaps and detergents are poisonous. You aren't supposed to eat them. You rinse the detergent off the dishes, so it's fine. The silica won't harm you if you don't eat it.

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  43. Leanna- I just edited my post to include box sizes. Check it out when you get a chance.

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  44. To stop it from hardening why not try vacume sealing it? Place the excess soap in a plastic container and slide it in a vacume seal bag. It should take all the air out of the bag...which should help. It works for the brown sugar.....

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  45. I have heard that you can use lemon juice as your rinse agent, and it has citric acid in it as well. That's probably cheaper than Lemi Shine. I have also read that a teaspoon of rice in your detergent mix helps with the clumping. :)

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  46. I have some insight here. I want to say I have not tried this recipe yet but I have made bath bombs and here in lies the problem. Baking soda and citric acid when coming in contact with water will cause the fizziness and slushy appearance. It will lose the ability to fizz at this point and probably not work. Airtight is absolutely essential to avoid a chemical reaction. To make the hard pellets in ice cube trays you can try spraying a fine mist of witch hazel until it is just barely moist and push the mixture into the trays until it is packed and let it dry. Even with this it has to be in an airtight container or it will begin to react. Here is a really cheap citric acid. http://www.bulkapothecary.com/citricacid.htm?gclid=COrsh_Sn5KwCFc7AKgodCCI7JA you have to pay shipping but you can save money on gas. :)

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  47. RealLemon now has packets of dried lemon juice. Would that work?

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  48. kaydee.girl- I have never used the liquid Lemi Shine I always get the powdered Lemi Shine. I sprinkle some in the bottom of the dishwasher before I start my load and it works out great. I never have any haze on my dishes. Maybe you should try the powdered stuff.

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  49. CertifiedHealthCoach- It might, I am not sure. Sorry.

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  50. I wonder if you put rice in the container like you do with a salt shaker, but instead of it being loose maybe you could put in one of those sheer baggies with the silky drawstrings? I hope this helps! I use a similar dishwasher detergent except its equal parts Borax and Washing Soda it seems to work pretty well. I'm thinking that when my batch runs out I'll be giving yours a try! Thanks!!

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  51. I just made both recipes...the laundry detergent and the dishwashing...but I haven't tried either yet. Here is my question: couldn't I simply add the powdered lemishine to the detergent instead of having to separately add it to the dishwasher each time? Thank you so much. I can't wait to do laundry and dishes!

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  52. I had a problem with mine clumping/hardening as well. I made little rice packets using coffee filters and stuffed them in the very full bottle. So far, it seems to be helping. However, I'm not sure if I will make this recipe again. I have to completely fill the dispenser (2-3 Tbsp.) in order to get clean dishes so it's not as economical as I thought it would be. Maybe it's just my old dishwasher ...

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  53. ksmorrow- I would add the Lemi Shine separate, just to make sure that you get an even amount in every batch. Lemi Shine is pretty important to get rid of the haze on your dishes.

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  54. I would bet sticking a piece of bread in the container to draw the moisture would help...you will have to replace it after it gets to hard..I do this with brown sugar I place our leftover hamburger buns in there..can't wait to make this!

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  55. 24 packets of lemon drink mix...still trying to figure out exactly what this is. It's the same thing a lemonade or it's something different?... but since I have citric acid already I can use that. But, how much is equivalent to 24 drink packets?

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  56. esteck35- You can half the recipe, just make sure to store your extra Borax in something air tight because it does harden. I have never seen smaller boxes of Borax or Washing Soda, you can see what you can find.

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  57. Tama- This is just a guess but I am thinking around 1/3 cup. Lemonade packages do have a small amount in them. Good Luck!

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  58. usmcwifey-mommyx3- You can use smuckers lemonade powder as long as it has no sugar added. I am thinking you need around 1/3 cup.

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  59. ksmorrow - I did just that, added the powdered LemiShine to the batch and I'm getting a LOT of clumping. I'm not sure if this caused it but...


    AS for the clumping, I have a little clay bear (made from clay pot I think) that is made for sugar. Love them for sugar. ANYWAY, I am wondering if a small clay pot (one of those miniature ones) placed in the top will help with the clumping. I am going to try this. I put the clay bear in but I think it's way too small to help any.

    This is the bear I am talking about:
    http://www.sugarbearsinc.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PLST&Store_Code=SBI

    As for the spots. I still have some. I added liquid lemiShine to the rinse dispenser and ended up adding white distilled vinegar (helped A LOT) but still need a better solution because I am ready to go back to my Kirkland (Costco) brand at 2 large jugs for $9.

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  60. I have been using this recipe for a couple months & I was wondering if anyone else was having problems with their pots & pans? I wash them in the dishwasher even though they don't recommend it (I am too lazy to hand wash). Anyways the outside of my Paula Deen pots (the color) seems to be rubbing off. Maybe I am using too much of the recipe? Just wondering if anyone else was experiencing this.

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    1. I have the same problem with my Paula Deen pans. I really think its the paint and not the detergent. This is the first time I have ever had painted pans before and it is leaving a red film on my electric elements too. I haven't made my detergent yet....I was using Cascade and it started and now I have had to add Lemi Shine for the spots and add it right to the detergent cup. The spots are gone but the paint is still coming off. It has to be the paint job.

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    2. I had a dishwasher repair man tell me to use lemishine to keep my dishwasher from getting soap buildup, but he said not to use it with any coffe cup I liked the outside of b/c it would take the pain off of it, this could be the problem.

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  61. Just as a note, if you have 18/10 silverware (if in doubt it will be stamped on the underside of the handle, or should be) manufacture recommendations are to not use any citrus products to clean your 18/10 silverware. I'd hate to see someone ruin their silverware, trying to save a few bucks on dishwasher detergent.

    Anything you can think of to use as an alternative? Or has anyone tried the recipe w/out the lemon or citrus?

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  62. how do you know what kinda water you have? im not sure if ours is hard or soft

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    1. If you don't know then I bet your water is soft! I say this because I moved from a soft water place (where I used to not know if my water was soft or hard) to a hard water place and people with hard water KNOW they have hard water! Hard water has calcium and other mineral deposits. If you've never had to clean your shower head of blockages then you don't have hard water.

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  63. Love this, I am about to make the laundry detergent one too. So I think I will try this as well. Just a thought, but Tupperware brand containers are air tight and even brown sugar doesn't get hard and lumpy, so maybe you can invest in one. (yes, I sell Tupperware). We have all shapes and sizes and that is what I will store my laundry detergent and this in as well. Thanks for the recipe!

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  64. My first batch turned into a brick in my plastic drink dispenser. I crushed it up again with the help of my hand mixer.
    Now I'm storing the same batch in ziplock baggies and I'm experimenting.
    One in the fridge. One in the closet with the washer and dryer. One in the same closet with a smallish stoneware cookie mold.
    All three bags are faring about the same after a couple of days. It's nice that the bags are pliable so I can manipulate it between my fingers before pouring. This is the way to go!

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  65. aGlamMama- You have to add salt to soft water heaters. So if you don't know what I am talking about I bet you have hard water.

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  66. This is effective without any citrus product? Citrus causes rust spots on my flatware : (

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    Replies
    1. The citric acid helps to break up food. It has a bubbly effect that helps to get the dishes clean.

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  67. I know a trick for hardened brown sugar is to put a damp paper towel in it and it helps rehydrate the sugar, I wonder if that would help with the soap??? I am loving your recipes. I made the Dugger recipe, but didn't enjoy the liquid form of it. Thank you.

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  68. I made the batch, then used my "Seal-A-Meal" vacuum sealer. It sucked all the air out, so I am hoping this works to eleviate the hard clumping. Then when I am ready for that half of the batch I will open it up and let the air in. I am hoping it works!

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    1. Let me know how that works out when you open the sealed batch. Thanks.

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  69. This is a great recipe for detergent. However, I too had the hardness occur. But I just ran it through my food processor to soften it up and that worked. Also, for those of you that are having issues with hard water spots on your dishes, there is another pin on pinterest to clean your dishwasher. I did this and I no longer have spots on my dishes and before it didn't matter what I used. I tried everything.

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  70. I made your Laundry soap and LOVE IT!! Made this dish detergent and did NOT like it! Doesn't work with our hard water even with extra Lemi shine!

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    1. I am sorry to hear that. It is cost effective but not the best recipe ever. I do agree, I love the laundry detergent. It is the better recipe of the two.

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  71. I accidentally put the LemiShine in the batch I made. Didn't work well at all. Everything had a greasy film on it. I bought another canister of LemiShine and I started shaking it in the bottom(as specified) and running a longer cycle(we have a really bad dishwasher and very hard water.)This last batch of dishes I ran came out perfectly clean.

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  72. I have been so excited to try these recipes, but I can't find any place that sells Arm and Hammer super wash. Is there anything else I can use in place of it or any ideas on who sales it. I went to Walmart, Target, CVS, two different grocery stores, Big Lots and 99cent store and none of them sell it :(

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    1. It is the same thing as Soda Ash... used for pools and also treating Tye Dye. You might look at pool supply stores? Just a thought.

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  73. Hey, Hott Thoughts, I bought mine at Kroger.. I also checked at Big Lots and dollar stores. Do you have a Kroger near you?

    I'm blogging about my experiences with this! Check it out!

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  74. I am wondering if uncooked white rice tied up in some cheesecloth would prevent the clumping? That is what we have to use in salt shakers down here in the humid south to prevent it from clumping. It absorbs moisture.

    Worth a shot, I think!

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  75. I would like some clarification. Do you NOT mix the Lemishine into the batch? Just add it into each load?

    I have bought everything, but I don't want to add it if I shouldn't.

    Cheers!

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    Replies
    1. You do NOT add the Lemi Shine to the batch. Just add it separate and sprinkle it in the bottom of your dishwasher before you start a load.

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  76. I am thinking the toe of an old stocking sock filled with rice in the laundry soap container to prevent clumping. Mush like the way ading rice to a salt shaker stops the rice from clumping. Easy enough to try - don't use instant rice

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  77. This detergent will clump because of the citric acid. Here are a few ways to make it clump less.

    Add a tsp of rice to the detergent to help absorb moisture.
    After combining ingredients, leave mixture out and stir several times each day for a day or two. (This is how we do it.)
    Add citric acid separately to each dishwasher load rather than adding it to the detergent.

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  78. Made this today. Can't wait to try!! Laundry detergent worked AWESOME!!

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  79. ok i must be a simple girl because i would not use transfer paper vinyl or contact paper. i would just right it on with a permanent marker

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  80. I have made my own laundry soap and dishwashing soap for almost 2 years. But, the Citric acid is acidic and the washing soda is basic. They should precipitate out to make a neutral, water like effect. Does the lemonade packets do the same thing? I love the smell of lemon products, but just wonder about the effectiveness of adding them to the soap.

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  81. for any powdered detergent you need to make sure your water heater is turned up as hot as it goes, and keep in mind it will wear the machine out faster (I used to be a service manager at an appliance store, and replaced hundreds of pumps eaten by powdered detergents due to machines being designed for liquids now, and using a lot of plastics)

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  82. i found citric acid at lowes. it is called water softner cleaner. costs $8 for 1.5 #

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  83. I looked everywhere for Citric Acid - I will look for the "water softner cleaner" at Lowes. How did you know to look for that? I'm excited to finally get this all mixed up, I've had all of the other ingredients for a week now looking for the citric acid!

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  84. I made (AND LOVE) both of your recipes, laundry and dish detergent, from the same boxes...I just divided up the recipes to make it work. I did have horrible hardening issues after the first night. I chopped it up and added 1 cup of rice in the batch and haven't had ANY problems since! Yes, the loose rice sometimes gets stuck on top of a cup or pan here and there, but it's still hard and never leaves any residue. This may help soe of you!

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  85. I have made both laundry and dish detergent. The laundry detergent I'm very happy with- it works great! However, I am about to give up on the dish detergent. Nothing comes out clean, and I had to hand wash all the glasses last night after they came out of the dishwasher because our brand new glasses were completely foggy. I have been using more and more of the detergent since the silverware comes out still dirty.. and I've used more and more of the lemi shine as well. any suggestions?

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    1. Usually the Lemi Shine does the trick. You could try vinegar as the rinsing aid.

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    2. I keep adding lemi shine and just got a different brand to try that too, no such luck with either.. I have to keep adding more and therefore its not much of a cost savings...

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    3. Try running a load with out any dishes and make sure you are using the powdered Lemi shine....the liquid rinse aid is not as effective. I had the same problem with the liquid and switched back to the powdered.

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    4. I started out with the powdered lemi shine (no good) then switched to a different brand of rinse aid (no luck) My fiance has now complained enough, I'm back to the store bought because we would have to run the dishwasher twice and even then they had a milky look to everything. I give up!

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  86. Just an FYI, I have a recipe that calls for these same items but one exception....it called for Kosher Salt instead of Epsom Salts......so that is an option for you, although I believe I will try the Epsom Salts first. Also, to address the hard water spots, the recipe I have says to use 1/2 to 1 cup white vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher and also 3 drops (just 3 drops!) of dish soap. I saw pics of the diffs and it was amazing!

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  87. If I were to replace the Lemonade with Citric Acid... how much would I use of the Acid??

    Thanks!

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  88. Filled the rinse aid dispenser with equal parts of vineger and lemon juice instead using citric acid and it worked perfectly!! I also added 1/4 cup of this detergent to my mop bucket of equal parts vineger and hot water...my linoleum looks like new!

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  89. awesome!!! I am so tired of spending so much money on soap, Thanks!

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  90. Ok, I made this a while ago and have tried it over and over and it does nothing in my dishwasher. It doesn't get anything clean. I'even tried using up to 6 T at a time to see if it helped, and still, nothing. Is it my machine? :( I have a whole huge batch of this that I feel is useless now.

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    Replies
    1. I have the same problem. Really want to use it, but the dishes are just not clean. I even tried Jet Dry today for the rinse, but no help. Dishes just not clean. Hoping someone will give us a suggestion. I even cleaned my dishwasher???

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  91. I would love to make this, but really don't know about the hard water issue. We have city/township water and have never had what I consider "hard water" issues. Nor do we have soft water (no water softener in my house). Is there such a thing as neutral water? lol. I'm ready to buy new dishwasher detergent, but would prefer to make this if it will work. Any ideas?

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  92. Hello, I am going out today to try your wonderful recipes for laundry & dishwasher soaps. I do have a question. We have used liquids in both laundry & dishwasher for quite some time due to our septic tank. A plumber said the powdered options are harder on septic systems. I am hoping because you use such a small amount & it doesn't have all the fillers these should be okay. Have you heard any negatives or had any problems?

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    Replies
    1. I have hear a few comments that powder is harder on septic tanks but don't know if it is true, sorry.

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  93. Hey there.....I've been researching dishwashing soap recipes for years now. If you're using LemiShine, just add that to the recipe and omit the lemonaid drink mix. The problem I had with the recipes is that they all use borax, which builds up in the dishwasher pipes (since it's a natural mineral). Since LemiShine came out, there's no need to worry. It bonds to the minerals and allows them to flush out when rinsed. I just add it to the mix instead of the lemonaid mix or the citric acid. It does what those things are supposed to do. I also add in a tsp of Lemishine to the rinse to be sure that everything gets flushed out, and the dishwasher gets a cleaning as well!! Hope this helps!!

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  94. Hello,
    I've been making my own DW deter for a while now. Here are some hints: it get's hard because of the citric acid (I just buy Fruit Fresh) as it reacts to the moisture. So, technically you could simply sprinkle that in separately, how much you use would depend on how hard your water is (white film on your glassware = hard water.
    Also, if you find those little packets in shoe boxes and vitamin bottles etc,...save them and throw them in to reduce the moisture. Adding rice will help too, it will just wash up with your dishes when you run your dishwasher.
    If you use Lemishine, you can simply replace the citric acid or lemonade with that. It is the same exact thing. Lemishine can be put into your main receptacle along with any DW deter (homemade or not). They also make a rinse agent (like Jet Dry) as well. This is for the rinse cycle. Good luck and happy washing!

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  95. I'm a hot tea drinker and of course it stains the inside of my mugs. Can anyone tell me if this recipe takes care of that brown stain problem? I've used a lot of the bland named detergents and they leave them stained. So I'm always washing them with a little backing soda to take care of the problem. Any suggestions??? (We have hard water.) Thanks

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    Replies
    1. I use the magic erasers and it is gone in a swipe... just wash it good afterwards.

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  96. A little off topic, but I read somewhere that Glad Press & Seal works as transfer paper for doing the vinyl with Cricut. I haven't tried it, but thought I would mention it. :) Thanks for the soap recipe, I am going to have to try it!!

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  97. So funny, the poster right before me said what I was planning to. Glad Press & Seal works like a charm and can be reused. Love the laundry soap, am making dishwasher soap this afternoon.

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  98. I dont want to make the full recipe. Does anyone know the ratios to use to make a small batch?

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  99. Epic fail! So disappointed. I had tried the laundry soap and loved it so I thought I would give this a shot. Everything was all filmy even though I still used the same rinse aid I always use. Bummer. Oh well, I'll just use the mix to clean something else. :)

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  100. I just made both the dishwasher powder and the laundry detergent and they both turned out BRILLIANTLY! For the dishwasher powder I used a mix of sugar-free lemon drink AND Ball Fruit-Fresh Produce Protector which I found in the spice section of Target (which also had Lemi Shine, BTW!). I also used both white vinegar in the screw-lid part of the dishwasher AND Lemi Shine sprinkled in the bottom of the dishwasher. My glasses came out SPARKLING!!! FYI I live near Stockton in Northern California where the water is very hard and we have to use water softeners.

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  101. I have also seen a recipe to bake baking soda, which turns it into washing soda. This would contribute further to the economical value of making this at home. You can find the recipe to turn baking soda to washing soda on Pinterest. The following link takes you directly to the website that posted it to Pinterest: http://ladywiththeredrocker.com/2012/03/06/diy-washing-soda/

    This link takes you to the pinterest page where you find the pin:
    https://pinterest.com/pin/131871095308966498/

    Hope this helps!

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  102. I love this!!! The only thing I have to add is Borox is DUSTY as all get out! Next time I will mix this outside! I made the mistake of making it AFTER cleaning my whole kitchen and floors and had to wipe it all up after. I also didn't add ANY citric acid OR lemon drink mix because, a) I couldn't find either and b) the comments suggested that it is what made it get clumpy AND the LemiShine has citric acid in it which is what makes it rock ( I have been using it for years with my hard water and swear by it!) So with a teaspoon of the detergent and a sprinkle of the LemiShine, we had amazingly clean dishes! Thank you so much for sharing this!!!
    PS. I also only made half the batch because I didn't have a container to fit the whole batch. I just eyeballed half of each box and did a 1.5 cups of epsom salts. :)

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  103. I just wanted to let you know I featured you on Blissful and Domestic today. Stop by and grab a button:>

    http://blissfulanddomestic.blogspot.com/2012/03/14-homemade-tips-and-tricks.html

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  104. Do you use the whole boxes of borax, washing soda, etc?

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  105. I loved this at first, then it started to not work anymore. Not sure why...makes no sense to me. I followed everything that was said to a tee and after about 15 or so used, the dishes started to not get clean. Not just spotty, not clean. I am totally bummed! Oh well, I will continue to look for a recipe that works for me! :)

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    Replies
    1. Same here Heather. I am just spanning the comments to see if I was the only one. It worked great at first but now it is not getting the dishes clean.

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  106. What about putting some of those little square things that soak up moisture in there? Sometimes they put them in medicine bottles too.

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  107. My husband was irritated with me when he saw I bought all of these ingredients, but after a couple of months of having dishes that actually come out looking CLEAN and seeing how long all these ingredients will last, we're both ready to declare this stuff awesome. Thanks!

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  108. I need help on how much citric acid to use. I could only find citric acid in a container, so i am unsure how much the 24 packet equvilent would be? please help

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  109. I also am wondering how much citric acid to use? thanks!

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  110. sorry. two more questions...how much lemi shine? I have a 12oz container.
    and is it best to put the detergent in the the cup that closes or the open one in the dish washer?

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  111. oops i just noticed where you mention to spinkle the lemi shine in the bottom of the washer. I guess i just need to know in which cup to put the detergent in! thanks!

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  112. If you use the citric acid instead of the Kool-Aid, how much do you use?

    And where do you find the Lemi Shine?

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  113. I'm too cheap to buy transfer paper for my cricut as well. I buy contact paper in clear or white. It's only about $1.00 and last a really long time as well. Thanks for your tip. Can't wait to try this one as well as your laundry detergent.

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  114. Great recipe, I will try this soon. I have made many variations of the above recipe and have always found a white powdery film covering my dishes after. I've never tried Lemi-Shine, tho, and don't think I was buying/using rinse aid at the time either. Looking forward to a cheap recipe with no powdery residue! Yay! Oh, p.s., I'm a bit of a spelling/grammar nut when it comes to labeling and I noticed that your label reads "1 Tbs," but really should read "1 Tb," since 1 is a singular amount, and "Tbs" indicates a plural amount. Thanks again for the great recipe!

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  115. Does anyone who used this recipe have a stainless steel lined dishwasher?

    I have one and usually use Cascade powder. I have had spotting (looks like rust) on my Mikasa 18/10 stainless steel flatware and am trying to find a soap that will clean it up and stop causing it.

    I'm curious to know if anyone has had this experience with or without this soap recipe. Thanks in advance!

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  116. I put a marshmallow in my container to keep it from hardening. Works great in a bag of brown sugar, too. The marshmallow will absorb any moisture in the container without affecting the product.

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  117. just curious if you don't want to make a huge batch, what the measurments are? equal parts borax to the A&H super washing soda? Then how many pkgs lemonade mix? I really only want to try 1 cup of the mix at first so if you could let me know the breakdown please? Thanks!

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  118. I featured you on My Weekly Obsession check it out! http://alittletreat.weebly.com/1/post/2012/04/my-weekly-obsession1.html

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  119. I have had great success with this recipe, but not at first.

    If you are having problems, try this:
    -run your dishwasher empty with only Lemi-shine (the bottle actually recommends this)
    -I put my Lemi-shine in the close-able detergent compartment, and the detergent in the open compartment.
    -my machine is older, and while I know this isn't water-saving, I never use the top rack.

    I made a half-batch of this and a half-batch of laundry soap and spent about $15. I love them both. Thanks!!

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  120. To stop the clumping and hard bits, pop one of the little silica gel sachets you get in with shoes and handbags etc. They absorb moisture and Im sure they would be fine to use as long as you dont damage the bag. You could always fix it to the lid to, so it doesnt touch the powder.

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  121. Please help. I made a batch of the detergent but it doesn't seem to work as well for me as the store bought stuff. My dishes just aren't as clean. Any suggestions or hints to what I might have done wrong? I also use the Lemi rinse, but 1/2 of my dishes have a film & half don't? Thanks for any suggestions.

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    1. Hey Suzie... I just posted a recipe below that has worked miracles for me. Please try it. I can't imagine you'd be disappointed! :)

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  122. I have tried nearly every DIY dishwasher detergent on Pinterest. Every. Single. One. left my glasses looking horrid! They looked cloudy and film-coated. I finally found one that works, though! Even my glass bread pans have come out absolutely sparkling. Combine one tsp OxiClean (I use the dollar store kind) and 1/2 tsp liquid dish soap (I use Dawn) in the soap dispenser and then 1/2c white vinegar in a right-side up custard dish in the top rack. SPOT. LESS! I can't imagine using anything else now and it's only been a few weeks! I printed it out on my label maker, put it on the front of my dishwasher and even my 10-year old can handle it. <3 HTH!

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    Replies
    1. Ann, I have most of that stuff at home!! Just bought a new (small) container of Cascade to use until I found something. My dishes weren't even coming clean. I will be sure to try your recipe. Thanks!! Susan

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    2. Thanks Ann, even I am not totally happy with this recipe. I will have to give your a try!

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  123. Granted I used borax to wash my clothes...but a very small amount...but I am not so sure how i feel about using it to wash my dishes. I had happened upon some websites that talked about the toxicity of Borax and while it is a super cleaner, i am not sure I can justify using it on the very plates I feed my children on...I will keep an eye out for another dish detergent recipe.

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  124. What did I do wrong? I used all required ingredients, I mixed it together in a big bowl using a plastic spoon, and dumped it into the container you suggest on your blog post of the dishwasher soap recipe above... it is hard as a brick... it's completely solid. I have to scrape and stab and stir to loosen some up. (Which is ok, I guess, I mean I can still use it). Just wondering if anyone has any insight as to why mine ended up "sticking" together as a solid brick. (But thanks so much for your helpful blog!)

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    Replies
    1. I think the culprit is the borax, it hardens when exposed to air. Another commentor just recommended boiling the ingredients with water to make a liquid version. I am going to give it a try, if it works out great I will let you know.

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  125. Great idea :) what cricut cartridge did you use for the letters? i'm having a hard time finding cute letter cartridges.

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    Replies
    1. I think the cartridge I used was Schoolbook. You could also try Story Book, I love that cartridge!

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  126. I tried this recipe, and my dishes were coming out with stuff on them from the powder. I remembered this is why we went to liquid detergent in the first place with our dishwasher, so I heated water and dissolved the detergent in the water. While it was a mess to make, it works great now. I just keep it in a two-liter bottle and shake it every time I use it and fill both sides of the dispenser. This may help others of you who are not getting clean dishes...

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    1. I am going to try this, thanks for the helpful tip.

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  127. I have been using this recipe for a while. I took a coffee filter with a small amount of rice inside, tied off with a rubber band. The rice absorbs all the moisture and it doesn't get hard. I am going to try the liquid version as well. Thanks for the idea, it has saved me bunches.

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  128. I've been using this recipe for about a year. We don't have hard water. I use citric acid instead of the koolaid. I ordered the citric acid off of Amazon. My dishes do get cloudy from time to time, but that's usually a sign that I need to add more vinegar to the rinse compartment. Also, if my dishes are super dirty or crusty it won't get them clean. But as cheap as it is, I am happy to pre-rinse my dishes before they go in the dishwasher.

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  129. You can also use borax to kill the creeping Charlie in your yard! Just sprinkle a little on and POOF it's gone!!

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  130. another way to transfer your vinyl is to layer the letters with painters tape and then pull it off. transfer to the object you want, rub really hard, and then slowly pull the tape back. everything stays the way that it was cut out!

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  131. Love the recipe. However, it is now turning parts of my heating element white? Any thoughts on how and why?

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    Replies
    1. It's because of the mineral build up... use some white viegar to wipe off the elements, put some in a shallow cup on the top rack and run it empty... it should take it off.

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  132. OMG!!! Thank you so much!! I just went out and bought all the stuff and made the detergent. It works amazing!!! Plus it will probably last me for like 6 months!! What's better than that? Can't wait to try the laundry soap!

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  133. If it gets hard could you not just turn it into a gel like you buy @ the grocery Store . I know the Laundry detergent you can cook and make a gel.

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  134. Use blue painter's tape to transfer your vinyl. Thanks for the recipe.

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  135. Try a few marshmallows in the container to prevent hardening! Not sure if it will work, but somehow it prevents brown sugar from hardening over time, so may be worth a shot! :)

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  136. Question: What is the lemonade drink mix for? If it's only for smell, I would rather not use it. Thanks!

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  137. All you really need from this recipe is the Lemi Shine. I use that along with my dish soap and my dishes come out great. Without the lemi shine my dishes come out cloudy. Lemi Shine is really all you need!

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  138. Ummm, yea. Totally did not get my dishes clean. Anyone have any ideas on what I can use this huge container of mix for now? I hate for all of that money to go to waste ='(

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  139. I worry about this not being a disinfectant. What about all those raw meat germs? Anyone? Anyone?

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    Replies
    1. The heater in your dishwasher will bring the water temp. up so that it will kill germs. Scalding!!!

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  140. I am going to give this a try. If I like it and it works well....the next thing I will do is to fill large canning jars with it and attach instructions and some pretty ribbon and give out to friends. What about placing the large quantity of this into a large ziploc type bag to see if that retards the clumping issue? Thanks again !

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  141. Let me first say that I tried the laundry detergent receipe and LOVE IT. It works every time without fail. Since I had success with the laundry detergent I tried the dishwashing powder and it is horrible. I have to spend 15-30 minutes handwashing my dishes AFTER they have been through the dishwasher. There's a weird film that's covering everything. I've been following the instructions to the T (even using more detergent and lemishine than is called for. I give up. store bought detergent may have been more expensive but at least I didn't have to re-wash everything.

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  142. All: I have been looking into this for some time, but have yet to make my first batch. I believe what makes this even worth trying is finding the most cost effective solution. From all of the recipes I have seen, here are the commonalities, and also my ideas for bringing down the costs.

    1. Soda Ash (Washing Soda) - you can make your own from baking soda by heating it in an oven. Heating it gets rid of Carbon Dioxide, leaving you with the Sodium Carbonate rather than the Sodium Bicarbonate. I found Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) at Walmart for $.50 a pound (Walmart Brand). Look it up on google, and you will see how easy it is to convert.

    2. Borax (20 Mule Team Borax) in the 76 ounce box. Can't get much cheaper unless you buy in huge quantities.. .

    3. Citric Acid: Searching on EBAY, and I found a 10 pond bag for $26.99. I will use Citric Acid rather than Lemonade Packets. Cheaper at that price, and fits more with the all natural, DIY concept.

    4. Vinegar for rinse aid.

    5. Using Citric Acid in sufficient quantities negates the need for LemiShine (love the product, not the price). It is mostly Citric Acid anyway. . .

    6. Salt as a water softener.

    By my math, I should be able to produce a 24oz batch for $1.45. And that is with a 25% Citric Acid recipe!

    All theory at this point. As soon as my Citric Acid gets here, I will let you know how it turns out!


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  143. a brown sugar bear might keep it from hardening...

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  144. so dumb question, but what size container does this fit in

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  145. IT is the CITRIC ACID/KOOLAID that hardens the mix! Keep it spearate and add in a sprinkle next to it in the dishwasher.

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  146. I've made the recipe to a T and have cloudy dishes and they have a film on them. I've run a seperate rinse cycle and still can't get it off. I tried running a second cycle with more lemi shine, less detergent, same results. Any suggestions? Hate to waste all this detergent.

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  147. I have not read all the comments so someone may have already posted this. To solve the problem of the detergent hardening, simply stir it and break it up again each day for 2-3 days after you make it. Then you can store it and it will not harden up again. I did that with mine and haven't had any more problems with it being hard. LOVE this recipe!!! Thanks for sharing. =)

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  148. Im going to make this and was wondering, if i omit the citric acid or lemonade packets and just use the Lemi Shine mixed in how much do i use? the whole bottle or just some of it?

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  149. You'll be able to lesson the amount of detergent you use by getting a quality water softener even if the detergent is homemade! I just picked up one from Kinetico and I'm seeing results already. Any reputable dealer will be able to offer you a good product though. I got mine from Kinetico San antonio

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  150. I left this recipe out for a day, stirring and breaking up the clumps often. It dried nicely. Then I put into a jar and keep it in the fridge. No issues with it hardening in there whatsoever.

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  151. Maybe this is old news but i added a couple of the little slicone packets -the kind you get when you buy a purse or new shoes etc. That dries out the mixture and no more clumps!My sister and I have been doing this for about a yr without any clumping issues!

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  152. This recipe has made me want to pull my hair out! I tried it 5 times before I gave up & dumped it all in the trash! What a waste! I have hard water, & maybe that is the problem, but I tried it as the dry powder, & it left residue. I added water & made it a paste, & it left residue. I added more water, to make it more of a liquid & it still left a residue. I have used vinegar as my rinse aid for a long time now & with store bought detergent I have had no problems but that didn't help the situation at all. I even put a cup of vinegar full on the top shelf to see if it would help. It didn't. So sad, I should have read the comments before I wasted so much money making this!

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